Politics in this country are out of control. Greed runs rampant, and every day, we see or hear about people who are supposed to be looking out for us instead looking out for themselves or Donald Trump. Very rarely do people get involved in politics anymore to help the people. They want fame and fortune, but only for themselves. Take Clarence Thomas, for example. He’s a supreme court justice. He is supposed to be objective and make rulings based on the law, but how can he do that when he is accepting gifts from a Republican megadonor? According to ProPublica, Thomas and his wife Ginny have spent the last 20 years going on lavish vacations, flying in Harlan Crow’s private jet, traveling on his superyacht, and vacationing at Crow’s private resort. Worse, Thomas has not included one of these trips in his public financial filings. He wanted them to remain hidden, but ProPublica busted him. This presents an ethical dilemma for Thomas, though whether anything will be done about it remains to be seen. While Crow maintains there is nothing wrong with giving “gifts to dear friends,” he is wrong. Thomas should not be accepting such “gifts,” and you best believe there is some favoritism behind it.
Unfortunately, it’s not only individual greed at play in politics, but power is everything. In Tennessee, Republicans are trying to oust three Democrats who had the gall to stand with the people of their state by protesting gun violence. Six people-including three children-lost their lives to yet another senseless shooting, and three members of the Tennessee House protested on the floor. Justin Pearson, Gloria Johnson, and Justin Jones faced expulsion from the Tennessee House on Thursday, with Pearson and Jones being expelled. Why? Because they had the nerve to stand up for the people who voted them into office? This should not be a decision that can be made by other members. Talk about being un-American. Some folks are tired of seeing people murdered because we refuse to be adults about gun control. Just because they’re members of the House doesn’t prevent them from exercising their First Amendment rights. No one said you had to give those up to run for office, and certainly, our children and teachers should not have to give up school because mentally ill people are allowed to get guns and do with them whatever they wish.
This country is going to hell in a proverbial handbasket. When it becomes the norm to accept “gifts” from donors whose main goal is to put one party in office, something is wrong. When people who were elected to office by the people cannot make their feelings known without being censured or expelled, there is something wrong. We need to take back our government from those who seek to silence us. We should not have people sitting in judgment of others who do not have clean hands. Judges-especially supreme court justices-must always appear above reproach; they must always give an air of impartiality. If they can’t, they don’t belong on the bench. It’s time to clean up Washington and state houses across the country.
Shirley is a former entertainment writer and has worked in the legal field for over 25 years